Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On With The Show!

So today I'm trying something new...

Today is my first shift working at Hollywood Studios! I'll be performing in the role of "generic untrained special events guide."

To be honest, I have no idea what that entails, but I'm so excited to find out! It's been a goal of mine to pick up shifts in each of the four parks, and now I will be able to knock another park off that list (having obviously worked a time or two in Magic Kingdom c-: ).


Speaking of trying new things, this past Saturday I did another shift that was completely new to me. Each year, Disney hosts a special event for two nights in September called Night of Joy. They have popular Christian bands and artists come out to perform at three stages set up around Magic Kingdom. This is a ticketed event after hours, and with special events comes a need for extra help on hand. Luckily for a certain seasonal cast member, that meant more hours towards my 150!

I picked up a Magic Kingdom Outdoor Foods shift from 8 pm - 2 am (eeek!). This was the latest I'd ever worked for a Disney shift, but it honestly didn't feel that late to me. ODF is responsible for most of the carts and stands you see around the parks. They serve popcorn, drinks, ice cream, and other assorted goodies. Towards the end of my shift I was talking with one of the supervisors, and she was explaining how they staff all those carts and keep track of it all. It really is amazing all the work that goes into selling everyone's favorite snacks!

The work was not necessarily difficult, just fast paced. You had to quickly learn and remember which bin a  certain ice cream was in, how to make the popcorn without burning it (which I did the first time I made a batch. OOPS!), and when to refill certain items. Honestly, the part I liked least about ODF is the drinks cooler. Think about how cold and refreshing your drink is when you purchase one from a stand. Think about how cold the ice water must be to keep it that temperature. Now think about dunking your arm into that ice water over and over again to get drinks all night. Brrrrr!

I really loved working my first outdoor foods shift. The folks who work and lead ODF are such a fun bunch, and I would definitely pick up there again if given the opportunity!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm here!!

I'm here!!

After meeting a friend for lunch at Downtown Disney, I settled into my hotel and unpacked.

I've got a late night shift tonight for Night of Joy, so I'm going to rest for a bit then head out to start what will be two weeks of magical fun amazingness and also probably a lot of work.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Want So Much More Than They've Got Planned

So in 1 day, 10 hours, and 9 minutes I will start out my roadtrip to head back down to Disney for two weeks of magic and fun!

If you are already a cast member you (hopefully) know that every Sunday,  our schedules are released for the following week. If you're not already a cast member, now you know, too. So this past Sunday, I couldn't wait until my schedule came out for my first week down there... except there wasn't anything on my schedule. Big problem. Later on in the morning, my schedule was updated, but it only had one 6 hour shift on it.

Since the deadline for the 150 hour requirement is September 29, I can't afford to go lax on my hours. Next year I plan on stacking my hours at the beginning of the fiscal year, but last year I was so burnt out from my program initially and then school that it was difficult to get many hours in at first.

Anyways, so what do you do when you need hours but don't have any shifts on your schedule? Part-timers and Full-timers have a bit more flexibility and more options, such as the Additional Hours Sign Up, but we seasonal folk have to be smart about the few options that are available to us.

First of all, contact your leaders and area managers. Talk to them and express that you would like to work extra hours if possible. They're the ones who scheduled you, so it's highly possible that your work location simply doesn't have a great business need for that week. However, communicating with your leaders is always the best thing you can do in any work situation to keep them aware of your needs.

The Extra Hours Hotline (named so because it was once an actual phone hotline but is now just a module online) is a great resource. This allows leaders across property to post if they need extra help that week. This is where you find PAC shifts and is a great way to cross train! However, it is unreliable and you have to be on your game because shifts go quickly!

Finally, contact people you've worked with. Ask around for shifts that someone might want to give away. There are always people who want to play around with their schedule or have a day off- and you never know, you might be helping them out just as much as they're helping you out!

That's it for today! I'm finishing up packing and getting everything all set for the big trip!!

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